Archives for posts with tag: gluten-free

Quinoa chocolate cake

This cake was baked (and photographed) by a good friend and talented baker, Iris, in Seattle Washington.  The recipe was adapted from


  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (about 1/3 cup dried quinoa; for cooking instructions click here)
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (200 mL)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt


quinoa chocolate cake2

Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients then add wet to dry slowly and mix until blended. Pour the batter into a small pan and bake for 45 minutes at 375 F or until a fork comes out clean when pierced through the middle of the cake.

Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack then dust with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving or 1/8th of the recipe):

  • Calories: 158
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Fat: 8.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g

These seeds are cultivated from the plant, Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Chia plants are native to Southern Mexico and Guatamala and there is evidence that they were grown as crops by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times. Chia seeds are well known for their use in the novelty gift, the Chia Pet, which was made popular in the early 1980’s (and apparently is still being sold today). Today, chia seeds are eaten for their nutritional benefits.


Chia seeds are high in fibre, omega-3’s and are a source of protein and calcium. They are also gluten-free.

Nutrient Nutrient per 2 tbsp (20 g)
Calories 103
Carbohydrates (g) 9.2
Protein (g) 3.3
Total Fat(g)Saturated








Fibre (g) 7.9
Calcium (mg) 132 (13% DV)

DV= recommended daily value

How to use them:

Chia egg replacer:

When soaked in a liquid, chia seeds create a gel. For this reason, chia seeds can be used to replace eggs in baking. To replace one egg, soak 1 tbsp chia seeds in 3 tbsp of water and let sit 10 minutes (or grind the chia seeds for an instant gel).  I used chia instead of eggs in these carrot spelt and whole wheat berry muffins.

Chia gel or pudding:

The gelling property of chia seeds makes for a pudding-like texture in desserts. Mix 2-3 tbsp of chia seeds in 1 cup of juice or sweetened milk and let sit 10 minutes (to form a gel). Try blending chia seeds with banana and almond milk to make a chia pudding or mix them with toasted buckwheat groats and dried fruit for a nutritious breakfast cereal.

Chia greens:

Just like in the Chia Pet, chia seeds can be sprouted. Use them in the same manner as alfalfa sprouts; add chia sprouts to salads, sandwiches and smoothies. If you would like to try this, here are instructions for sprouting seeds in a jar.

Where to find them:

Chia seeds can be found in natural food stores and some grocery stores. They can be expensive, so shop around and look for sales. Often, chia seeds sell for about $20 per pound, however, one pound of chia seeds should last a long time. Sometimes Costco carries organic chia seeds ($10/kg).

This might be my favourite cereal. It is high in fibre, calcium and omega-3s, and is a source of iron. As well, it is very low in sodium, which is something that can’t be said for most breakfast cereals.


1/2 cup roasted buckwheat groats

6 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp hemp seed hearts

1/4 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, chopped dates or apricots)

2 tbsp coconut flakes

1/2 tsp cinnamon


Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 1 1/3 cups dry mix.

To prepare the cereal: add 2/3 cup milk (any type) to 1/3 cup cereal mix. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring once or twice (the chia seeds will create a gel-like consistency). Sweeten to taste. Serve with fresh fruit such as berries or sliced banana if desired. You can also prepare it the night before (keep covered in the fridge).

Nutrition: one serving (1/3 cup cereal mixture, made with raisins, without milk)

  • Calories: 250
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Fibre: 9 g
  • Iron: 1.25 mg (9% DV*)
  • Calcium: 115 mg (12% DV)
  • Sodium: 8 mg

*DV= Daily Value

This is a breakfast staple at my parents’ house, served with fresh fruit and maple syrup. This simple recipe is delicious, low in fat, high in fibre, and can be gluten and dairy-free (if made with gluten-free oats and a dairy alternative such as soy milk). They can last up to 4 days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer — simply reheat them in the toaster. 


2 cups oats (quick or rolled)

2 cups milk (any type)

1 small banana

dash of salt

optional: 2 tbsp flax seeds or ground nuts


Preheat a waffle iron. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Let stand 3 minutes to thicken. Cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your waffle iron. (note: you will need to spray or brush the iron with oil, if it is not non-stick). The waffles will be done when they stop steaming. Serves 4 (about 8 square-shaped waffles).

Nutrition info (per serving–2 waffles, made with skim milk and without flax or nuts): 

  • Calories: 307
  • Carbs: 50.7 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Fat: 5.3 g
  • Fibre: 5.7 g